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1986: UK's oldest twins turn 100

VIDEO : Twins celebrate their centenary with a birthday bash

Britain's oldest twins have today both received telegrams from the Queen.

May and Marjorie Chavasse celebrated their 100th birthday with a joint birthday party.

Among the guests were four generations of their family.

They included five-year old William and Vivian Hall - the first twins to be born in the family since Marjorie and May.

The chances of identical twins both living beyond the age of 100 are about one in 700 million.

But the Chavasse twins were said to be determined from an early age to reach 100.

Neither sister married but both had distinguished careers.

Marjorie worked for the Dr Barnados charity setting up children's homes.

May became a nurse and cared for wounded soldiers in France during World War I.

She subsequently received a military honour for her work.

Marjorie still lives in her own home in Windsor, Berkshire while May lives in a home for retired nurses in Buckinghamshire.

In Context
The twins came from a distinguished family in which their elder brothers were also twins.

One of them, Noel, was a war hero and one of only a few men to twice be awarded Britain's highest military honour - the Victoria Cross.

The other twin brother, Christopher, followed in their father's footsteps by becoming a Bishop in the Church of England.

May Chavasse died before her 101st birthday but Marjorie lived to the age of 103.

According to the Guinness Book of Records the world's oldest female twins were Kin Narita and Gin Kanie of Japan who celebrated their 107th birthday in 1999.

Kin, the elder by 20 minutes, died the following year.


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